Alumni News

Learning for Life


How alumni use their BYU educations to serve their communities, neighbors, and families.

How to Encourage Honesty

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When the truth is on the line, Derek Lentz relies on his BYU degree in marriage, family, and human development to help his children embrace honesty.

My five young children often lied to my wife and me to avoid consequences—until I remembered a class I took from A. Lynn Scoresby (BS ’65, MA ’66) while studying marriage, family, and human development at BYU. Implementing Dr. Scoresby’s ideas with my wife, Tanya Nordgren Lentz (BS ’01), we held a family meeting where we told our children we would help them be honest by giving them the minimum consequences for wrong choices so long as they were completely truthful; however, if they lied, they would receive the maximum consequences. They loved our plan and eagerly agreed to it.

The minimum consequences for a mistake include discussing the mistake with us and developing a plan for facing similar choices in the future. We celebrate their honesty with praise, treats, or extra privileges. In the past year, our children have consistently told the truth. What a miracle!

— Derek E. Lentz (BS ’01), Salt Lake City

Preschool on a Budget

While obtaining an elementary education degree, I dreamed of having a classroom of my own, but the arrival of my twins put that dream on hold. I enjoyed staying home with my children, but to make it work financially, I had to budget. As the twins reached preschool age, enlightenment came: why not start my own home-preschool program?

I dug out my old notes, books on child development, and state curriculum guidelines to create age-appropriate lesson plans. Then I gathered a group of mothers from my community and presented the idea of a rotating preschool, in which each mother would take a turn hosting for a month. By using my lesson plans, we could keep the instruction consistent at each home.

Through these experiences, my children gain social and educational opportunities, our family saves money, and we create friendships with our neighbors. Teaching preschool fulfills my desire to educate and to bond with my own children.

— Lori Martineau Fillmore (BS ’03), Blackfoot, Idaho

Thirst for Knowledge

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The Adams family at the library.

The most valuable thing I learned at the Y is this: there are a million things you don’t know, and you can learn them by reading. I was always in awe of the Harold B. Lee Library—floor after floor of things I didn’t know yet but could, if I read all those books. My family frequently visits the library, packing home more books than we can carry. I hope exploring the library will give my children a thirst for knowledge—and the means to satisfy it.

— Stephanie Woodward Adams (BS ’01), Holladay, Utah